Sunday, April 03, 2016

The Middle weights

The Middle weights

So you have been riding for 2-3 years with a 150 cc .And then you suddenly realize that the machine which served you well all these years , Now suddenly starts to feel slow.
People start going faster than you , much quicker zips between the signals. And at some signals a superbike pulls up and even if you can’t see it , that exhaust note has got you all excited.

So when you think of getting one yourself ,  a little bit of planning and then comes the choices that you are spoilt for.
With a Budget of 6-9L at hand or with bank or with Plastic money . And that itch to be on a 600cc machine has brought you to this decision point.

Let’s look at what choices we have at this Junction. I know you may have already been looking at Power Drift videos and drooling over them scraping their knees in lavasa.

Kawasaki Ninja 650
A parallel twin 649 cc , 72 bhp , 64 Nm torque Decent looking machine that does look unique in its Trademark Green and Black.
Tried and tested machine , I have covered over 10,000 kms on its saddle the 2011 model and the 2013’s.
Both the machines have things similar between them , but the improvements are seen on the 2013 model.
This would be an ideal upgrade to someone who has been riding a Karizma or a 220 most of their time.
The Ninja 650 isn’t a thrill motorcycle . It’s a No-nonsense upgrade which makes you feel you are on a faster Karizma.
A new comer who hasn’t ridden a bike > 250 cc would be at home riding the Ninja 650 for the first time.
The comfortable saddle , the reach to the handle bar and levers , The way the knees lock with the tank ,
The saddle height which most of the people above 5’6 should be easily be able to manage and their feet would be able to reach the ground.
It’s a good saddle to be in if you are a person who likes riding the bike in everyday traffic or even pile up 1000 kms in a day.
Start the engine with a tap on the starter and the Parallel comes to life sounding weird . The firing interval makes this inline sound way more different than a Ninja 300 , If you have that exhaust or idle note on mind.
Even though both being parallel twins , both the engines have almost nothing in common.
Pull in the light clutch and with almost no throttle input , you get going. That’s when you start hearing the bike sound like a Harley in the low revs . Yes , the beat , Not the loudness. The uneven firing sequence makes it sound like a Harley in the low end.
Help it with a little throttle and you have the bike happily surge forward with all the torque in the low end. This bike is happy to potter around in town in lower gears .
The fueling is almost spot on and you can’t really feel any jerks on the throttle on off transition.
Cheap maintenance costs . Regular service costs would be about 4000-6000 .
The Bike when used for touring is where it excels. The sweet spot is between 4000-7000 rpm where the engine is really comfortable and the vibes are minimal.
The Braking department is a big letdown , they don’t really shed speed as well as it builds. The brakes are spongy and they need a little getting used to before you can be really comfortable with pushing it.
The Windscreen is decently good till about 120-140kph. After that you can feel the wind blast.
The Headlights , although two 55 w ones , aren’t really good with throw or spread or brightness. Over 100 , The lights don’t help in anyway.
The suspension setting from the factory are on the softer side and high speed runs aren’t that stable . The front is ready to nosedive at any time.
Setting it harder by 1-2 notches makes a lot of difference on the ride and handling. The Underbelly exhaust doesn’t help when you are two up .It has the tendency of scraping the unscientifically tall speed breakers.
An all-rounder if it can be described that way. Its happy to do a little with of everything.

Engine ****
NVH  ****
Brakes ***
Suspension ***
Comfort *****
Reliability *****
Value for Money ****
Re-sale Value ****
Tank Range ****
Luggage friendly ****

Kawasaki ER-6N
This one again is powered by the exact same mill as the Ninja 650 . And that’s where the similarities end.
Being lighter by 8 kilos compared to the N650 , This one handles better , changes direction better.
The intake roar is a lot different . The Fueling and response is a notch better than the N650. Being Lighter , It happier on the brakes as well
And the suspension. The Bike looks narrow without the fairings and can easily be missed in the crowd .It makes a lovely everyday bike .
The naked makes it have a windblast after a certain speed . But its quicker to get there .
The heat dissipation is a little better and the fan doesn’t come on as often .
But the cost difference of only about 60,000 rupees makes one think if they should get the naked or the Faired version.

Engine ****
NVH  ****
Brakes ****
Suspension ****
Comfort *****
Reliability *****
Value for Money ***
Re-sale Value ***
Tank Range ****
Luggage friendly ****


Hyosung GT650R
A V-twin 647cc 72 bhp 61 Nm torque , a machine inspired from the 90’s Japanese bike designs. Bulky and odd .
The motor is largely based of the SV 650 and does a decent job in propelling the machine to good highway speeds.
The DSK relationship hasn’t been really great and the after sales service also isn’t very confidence inspiring.
The seating position is very aggressive for a middle weight all-rounder. Its more sport focused and the rider comfort is very little.
The fueling on the GT650R isn’t really good , the throttle transitions are very rough and the bike is very jerky at lower rpms.
Once past the 3000 rpm , Things get better and the Bike is smoother till about 6500 rpm.
Post that the inherent V-twin vibes creep in . The surge of torque is present from as low as 2000 rpm through 6500 rpm.
The braking isn’t very impressive , but they do a decent job in slowing the bike down.
The noise from the vehicle is very mechanical and the Welding job on the chassis is very industrial and crude.
The Bike is shod with excellent tires that help with the handling , Bridgestone Battlax .
The suspension front is a USD and the rear is a link type mono shock which work quite decently over varied road conditions.
The electrical on the bike are poor and a letdown. The mechanical and the fiber parts too are more expensive than the other bikes of the same segment.

Engine ****
NVH  **
Brakes ****
Suspension ***
Comfort ***
Reliability ***
Value for Money ***
Re-sale Value **
Tank Range ****
Luggage friendly ****



Benelli 600i / Benelli 600 GT
Another Joint venture by DSK has brought this inline 4 pot motor inspired by 03 R6 to us.
The First thing that people talk about this brand is the exhaust note . Italian or Chinese , let’s not debate , the sound has people fallen for it.
And then the cheapest inline four available off the block with decent power figures to impress most buyers.
There are 2 versions of the bike , a Naked 600i and the big belly bikini faired 600GT.
These bikes are equipped with big 50mm USD forks, a rear mono shock and a 180 section tire to complement the looks ,  which the Kwacker and Hyosung miss out on.
The fit and finish of the bike are quite decent . Hopping onto the saddle on the 600i , is a very different feeling compared to the twins. Thumb the starter and the motor settles into a lovely
Soothing tone which is very mellow at idle. The clutch and the Brake levers aren’t easy to reach if one has small fingers.
Unlike the usual bike , these levers seem to be designed to accommodate XXXXL hands and fingers.
One the move the characteristics of the i-4 are instantly evident. It is a high revving mill and the low end torque takes a beating ,
The surge of power is from 6000 rpm till about 11000 rpm. Below that the motor needs to be worked through the gears to gain speed.
Once at highway speeds , the bike is really comfortable staying in the “Zone” . being a Naked , you face windblast from the word Go.
The speedometer is very basic , But does the Job of letting u know the essentials.
The suspension is set up well and it’s a balance between soft and very firm.
The exhaust note from the 600i has more treble , and is shrill . It lacks a little bit of bass , which could have made it much better.
There are heat shields to protect the pillion from the heat generated by the under seat exhaust.
Overall makes a good street bike if there is spirited riding . And for some highway runs which it can do without a sweat.

Engine ****
NVH  ****
Brakes ****
Suspension ****
Comfort ***
Reliability ***
Value for Money ****
Re-sale Value ***
Tank Range ***
Luggage friendly **

The 600 GT is quite similar , Except it has a 27 Litre tank , Added weight of about 28 kilos .
A single underbelly exhaust, A small windscreen . A projector headlamp.
A better pillion comfort. Optional Touring  ready set up with Side and Top boxes.
Braking is not as great on the 600GT with the added weight.

Kawasaki Versys 650
Another one with the Same ninja 650 engine , but this has a different state of tune. Focused more on improving the torque delivery than just the mere numbers.
The Power output has been reduced by about 4ps. Which you wouldn’t even feel the loss .
The USP on this are , it fixes almost all the things that one would miss on the Ninja 650 .
Great USD front suspension , Dedicated to take on off road. A rear Mono shock with remote adjuster.
The Brakes get an ABS . A taller windscreen. Kawasaki Panniers if you want to tour.21 liter tank which is 6 liters over its sibling.(Almost 120kms extra tank range)
What’s not for everybody. Its tall stance , making it difficult for short riders to get their foot down.
The Tires however are road tires , It should have come shod with On-off road tires.
At 1.2 Lac over the Ninja you get some good useful equipment which the ninja solely missed out on.

Engine ****
NVH  ****
Brakes ****
Suspension ****
Comfort ****
Reliability ****
Value for Money ****
Re-sale Value ****
Tank Range ****
Luggage friendly ****

Honda CBR 650 F
Latest to the party , an inline four , 86 PS . 64 Nm torque . Honda brand value. A lovely fit and finish. An inline 4 smoothness , but a quiet and mellow exhaust note.
Priced at 8.4L in Bangalore . It surely does sound very expensive. Almost eating into the Z800 category which is a notch higher in terms of segment.
A full faired bike , with not so aggressive ride stance , yet sporty enough for you to have fun on.
The bike come with Nissin Calipers for the braking , ABS . a 180 section rubber to help it grip the tarmac.
The dials looks very basic , that is a letdown for some bike which costs a bomb . It also comes with an immobilizer (H.I.S.S)
This bike too comes with an underbelly exhaust . Honda claims a FE of about 25 kmpl .I haven’t got a chance to ride this one.
The Suspension has been tuned for comfort and is on the softer side .The front suspension is  a conventional Telescopic fork.
I may be able to add some finer points when I get my hands on it.

Engine ****
NVH  ****
Brakes ****
Suspension ****
Comfort ****
Reliability ****
Value for Money ****
Re-sale Value ****
Tank Range ****
Luggage friendly ****


Honda CBR650F
There have been guys who have had the Honda 250 for a long time now and wanted an upgrade , A Happy Honda owner needs an upgrade . But the wait was too long , Some went ahead with picking up another brand motorcycle.And some had the patience .
After a Late entry , Honda has come up with an inline four to Join the battle and get a share of the segment. They have chosen to enter with a Premium Middle weight , an inline motor ABS .
Has the wait paid off? Or too little too late?

Styling
A full faired motorcycle with a play it safe styling. The Design and styling is something that not all of them may like . It does not feature twin headlights like usual 600's do . 
Instead does away with a Single headlight unit. The Fairings do not look bulky at all and go well with the overall design of the bike.
The bike gets an short length under belly exhaust which looks fairly good . The 4 header pipes of the trademark Inline design are visible.
Currently there is only a Single color scheme that is available in the Indian market. It definitely has the street presence .

Ergonomics
The Riding position on the 650F is quite similar to the CBR250R . So for riders who are hopping on from such a riding position will find this to be at home . With the "F" badge , being touted as a sports tourer, the position has to be friendly and comfortable which it perfectly does. The seat height is 810 mm and should be comfortable for anyone who is above 5'6 .You wouldn't have issues getting your feet down.The Single Seat itself is pretty soft and wide enough for the rider and provides good support .Dint have a pillion , so no comments on that. With the ride position not being very leaned forward and sporty,there is a small windscreen that shields you from the wind blast till about 110-120. Post which it is of no use. you have to crouch if you need better wind protection. Or Needs a change to a bigger , better windscreen from Puig.

Instrumentation and Switch gear
This is one area where Honda has Goofed up big time . The twin pod instrumentation cluster looks from the late 90's. The Cluster is split into two .The LHS has a digital rev counter , And speed displayed next to it which is very readable. Next to it is the center piece where the indicator symbols are place. On the RHS cluster , you have the Tell tale signs which are oil temperature , FI , ABS and etc etc. 
It lacks a digital temperature guage, which in one way is good . why ? Sometimes numbers frighten you when you dont clearly understand the principle behind it. if the temperature keeps increasing from 65 at startup and goes till 80 , and 90 -95 in traffic , you start to panic as to oh , the bike is really getting heated up. Oh y hasnt the fan switched on yet. There is a thermostat which is working in the backend and it knows when to kick in the fan. the rider can just concentrate on the Chaotic traffic instead of being bothered by the increasing numbers. There is a symbol which pops up on the console when the temperature is too high.
Another major goof up, is re inventing the wheel .. Honda has swapped the Horn and the Indicator buttons on the switch gear. Very experimental i must say. May be an idea to reduce noise pollution and save the world and all that. But when in a Situation you need it and you are new to the Bike. Happy Birthday to you:-) . Keep pressing the indicator switch back to its default position.

Engine, Gearbox and Performance - Waiting for this ?
Press the starter with minimum effort and the welcome is typical Honda . Quiet , refined and Smooth .The exhaust is really quiet . Isn't loud at idle.
Slot into first and your off . The power is low until 3k rpm , But for an inline 4 , thats very common and a design characteristics. The inline 4 , with Dohc and 4 valves generally make power up the RPM band with a Jolt at 7000 rpm. They are happy being at higher RPM's is this the Honda the same ? Well Not really.
Past 3000 rpm , the power is very linear and it revs all the way till may be 11000 rpm. 
Like other inline fours , the bikes character does not change with RPM at all. From Idle , till redline , Its Like the Best Student award winner . No change at all.That doesn't mean its slow. Its Just not exciting like an Inline four. 
The gearbox is brilliant , a soft clutch makes it really easy to work your way around the gears. there was 1-2 false neutrals . But thats ignore able.
Very prominent and Noticeable is. As the speed increases the Vibes on the Split Handle bars . It starts from 60 itself or 4000-5000 rpm and is very evident . The vibes are bullet vibes.
Its more of a tickle or a buzz letting u know the motor is spinning. This is very unlike Honda or an i-4 character and Something that really put me off. Take it to 120 odd and the Tickle from handlebar is now evident on the footpegs. and Dropping throttle , Its evident on the inner side of the thighs too.

Again let me tell you , Its not vibes . But an irritating Buzz or resonance sort . and this is not something where a software upgrade will fix it. May be honda needs to look at the rubber mounts on the engine or trace where there are from. a lovely motor , but disappoints the rider with this added feature of BuZz.. There is absolutely no panel Vibes or windscreen or mirrors.

Like i mentioned before , the windscreen upgrade is the first thing you must do if you would like to Tour.
the 0-100 150 come up in Good time.
But there is No feel of it at all from the engine . Being very linear , the sense of speed is cut off . To add to this , the exhaust is as good as it doesnt exist or rather working too well to Mute everything.
Some Noise cancellation engineer must have designed the exhaust.
Show it an open highway and the Bike can hold 130-150 all day long without a sweat. the gearing is good at does about 140 odd at 6000 rpm or a little lesser.
The torque is good once you are at good highway speeds , over takings are a breeze.

if you want some fun on an i-4, drop two gears and Shoot.Ideally when you do that , your front is happy to lift and give you a kick at 7k and the aural note , makes everyone around u aware that there is something coming..

With This bike . Dont you even expect anything. You will Just go buy and no one will even know you exist.

Does the bike get heated too much ? Not at all. riding in traffic , there is not a little heat that is blown towards the riders legs or thighs .Honda has done a commendable job in designing the fairing and the fan and her dissipation is brilliant.

Fueling- the FI unit and fueling on the bike is Just Mindblowing , Never will you ever feel a jerk at any Rpm , any gear. Yes , a lack of power is evident till 3k or in crawling speed. Thats nothing to do with fueling.

Suspension and Handling
The bike setup from the factory is very plush. Its the same as the CBR250R. Happy to go into potholes and the rider wouldn't even feel the bad roads or undulations.
The Front suspension is a Conventional Non adjustable 41mm RWU forks which looks like was designed to nose dive. Its set up very soft . If you like spirited riding and improve handling , it may need to be stiffened a little by adding a little oil.
The rear faces the same story and the preload can be adjusted . But for a regular city use or normal highway solo rides . Best to leave the set up as it is .
On two up and Unscientific speed breakers , the exhaust makes contact. So watch out .

Handling-- aah.. This bike Just doesnt like changing directions. Its happy Just going in a straight line , while riding in Silk Board traffic , it was a little difficult to change directions , and i expected it to get better with speed.
But nope , even at 130 or 160, the bike is not happy to change directions quickly , Its like the old Trucks where u need manual "power" steering to make it do what you want.
ABS .. And Braking are excellent. It is not a combined ABS. But the stopping power is defintely the best of the segment out there.


General
The tank is a 17.3 litre tank, even with 120 all day , you can expect a minimum of 22kmpl. A rider can get a good range of 300+ with ease.
The mirrors on the bike are good. Not great , But do a decent Job.
Dunlop sportmax D222 tires , last about 12-15k or even 18k depending on your riding styles.
The rear lights are Led , But the design reminds me its from the 90's like a square or a Box. was looking at it when someone else was riding.
No idea on the headlight effectiveness as it was a day time ride.
Horn , is useless. Beep beep.. road runner style.
How fast is it ? Does a 230 if you push it .
Service costs are 8800 Rs for 3 services.
on the other hand , Kawa charges that much for one service :-P


Verdict
At 8.54L on road .It surely sounds expensive and is also expensive. I have been riding Various 600's and litre bikes from over a decade , and so my opinion would be based on that.
The CBR650F is a very boring bike to ride , It has all the boxes ticked for Comfort , Power , safety , Cheap cost of service and maintenance .
Yes but it lacks an excitement factor an experienced rider would look .
if its the first inline 4 that you are riding , Trust me it is the safest bike to buy cos the chances of you doing something stupid and something going wrong is very minimal.
This seems to be designed with newbies in Mind , So that the experience of shift over from 150 to a 650 is not scary or terrible.
Its made very easy that you enjoy your experience with it.
Over time you may master it , But for a beginner in this segment . This is something you need to look at.
The Price will pay you back over time is what i feel after interactions with the long term owners and the service costs.

But wait ,
Hey , for 40000 more im getting the Z800. Magazines gave it #1 spot . isnt that more vfm ?
On paper Spec to Spec yes the Z800 is better. But lets look at your purpose.

If its a sports tourer , then the CBR for sure. The Comfort and Wind protection is enough a reason to ignore the Z.
If you are more of everyday city ride and sometimes highway. then the Z is good.The Z is a lot heavier bike but has a better suspension set up.

I re iterate , if you are Jumping from a small bike and numbers dont matter , the happy smile does , Then have a look at the CBR.The acceleration and top whack figures of both would be almost identical . 

So please do not make a decision on what to buy wrt cc or bhp . they are meaningless as the Z is a Naked , the CBR is faired. The Z needs to fight much harder against the wind to get to the same speed as what CBR would would . So the Extra BHP and Torque are used there.

https://youtu.be/_sIz31Sc36k


Monday, December 01, 2014

3 years of Ownership Hyosung GT 650 .

Completed 3 years on  my bike now . About 20000 Kms .

A look back



Engine & GearBox
 It’s built with little vibes by nature, Cons of being a Twin. The fueling on the bike is not great , and that’s what makes it feel jerky. The Hyosung Company don’t seem to be even bothered about it or rectify with new fuel maps. Here comes the BMC to the rescue, The bike breathes better and its worth the money , and reduces the jerkiness to an extent. The throttle response is quite good, but it may just surprise you in some corner with its trademark “bad” behavior.
The bike is not short on power , does a 100 in about 3.5-4 seconds and pulls cleanly through all the gears till 200. And may top out at about 20/30 + kmph. The sweet zone for this twin to be in is at 110-135kph with least vibes and in the best torque range. Ideally the V-twins make power low down and not rev really high , But this engine likes to be revved  , Although the engine is ready , you aren’t as the vibes tend to be fun in the beginning , But over a long run. It’s Not that quite digesting. The vibes are most felt on the foot-pegs .The same are passed onto the handlebars , but its bearable and not too much of a bother. Not a Slick one where you can expect super quick Shifts. It’s there and doing its job is what’s best described. I use Shell AX-7 semi synthetic oil and very satisfied with how it performs.

Seating & Comfort
I have additional padding and different seat covers to help me on tours & makes it a comfortable place to be in. The seating is upright and will be comfortable to almost anyone above 5 feet  7 inches. There is very minimal effort to reach out to the handlebars. The Knee recesses are really comfortable, with the big tank being shaped well. You sit in the bike, than on the bike. Doing really long distances are easy. Pillion comfort is good and the no strains on them in a day ride. They Won’t abuse you.

Tank Range
17 litre tank and club it with sane riding. Would return 25-28 kmpl of ordinary pump gas.so its about a distance of 300+ which is decent for a bike of this size which is respectable. In the city 15-18kmpl is standard.  Bike rides on ordinary fuel without issues. May be should try with premium fuel to see if the vibes may reduce. But 97 Octane is very expensive. Compression ratio is 11.6:1 which is high.

Spares and Service Costs
Surprise!! Call it a cheap Korean brand!!!  Think twice, it’s more expensive than the competition Ninja 650 on service costs and spare parts. Especially the plastics are priced in a way that makes no sense. Luckily, I work on all my bikes and I hardly spend.




Tires and Handling
GT650 is shod with Bridgestone rubber. The Battlax is one of the best tires to inspire confidence in you. It’s really expensive to buy. Company says 26 for the rear and 18 for the front. The bike weighs 20 4 kgs and is not light like the litre bikes at 180 kilos. But hey all the cost oriented middle weights are even heavier than this. So why complain? Low speed riding is a little pain. The Turning radius is unnecessarily large. The bike likes to lean into a corner. But getting it back is a pain. You ll know the trick once you are familiar with it.

Aesthetics
It’s a design from the 90’s superbikes, nothing to ride home about. Although the tank is a crowd puller. It’s Huge for a bike -   Not in capacity, But by design.  

Issues
The bike is plagued with electrical issues, I have had friends who have had nightmares and washed their hands of it to buy something safer and more reliable. The One way clutch is another issue reported by owners. Company and reviews claim that the new bikes have better electrical and suspension made by KYB instead of the unknown Korean manufacturers.

Insurance costs
It costs about 10-11k for zero-depreciation insurance and 8000 INR for regular insurance.

Summary
I’m satisfied with my buy , being my 2nd Hyosung , I knew what I was buying and what to face in the coming years. 3 years and I must say I’m not disappointed. Neither am I too happy to say it’s the best buy J. If you can live with a little adjustment and have a good technical knowledge, then this bike is really good .
Goodies for the bike: BMC Air filter instead of stock filter, Dan-Moto free flow exhaust instead of the stock.
Replacements: 3 meter changes, 4 rear suspension changes.







Monday, May 20, 2013

Santa's Crazy Ride to Dudh Sagar Falls


Santa's Crazy Ride to Dudh Sagar Falls

Route* - Panjim-Old Goa-Ponda-Mollem-Kollem-Riding on Track to Dudh Sagar parking lot-Trek to Dudh Sagar . SOlo July 2012.
Duration* - Morning 9 am- 7pm
Distance* - 80 one way
Short Story* -Being High on Feni the Previous Night, I wake up with a crazy hangover, Severe headache.Get some breakfast.
A rented Honda Dazzler , Non Stop July Rains In Goa.
Just a waterproof Pant , A galaxy Note and Camera , tank bag .Leather Slippers , No gloves, a 200 rs Rented Helmet .
Find out the Route , Although heavy rains , i ride slowly and then reach Mollem , 6 kms from there is Kollem.
This is where the road ends .
And there Are Pilots at collem station parking-- Guys with bikes who take you pillion on Splendors and Impulse and charge you 600 odd rs .
SInce It was monsoons , the roads are closed , And the previous day , one of the pilots died crossing a overflowing river in the forest.
Not that he dint know swimming , Hit the rock on the fall and lost conscious and swept away.

So the pilot service was also non functional,They blocked me saying , its too risky , don’t go .
I wasnt gonna listen.
I take off from the last Point of Civilization , No network , no Food , And Pouring.
Biggest mistake , Dint carry any Food , its 1230 pm and i still have a hangover headache.

Off roading begins, Easy for Few 100 meters , and then the slush starts, And You are riding in the forest parallel to the Railway track on the stones.


6-8 kms of riding on that stones on stock MRF zapper tyres ,slipping sliding.No directions where to get off the track .
If you go on your own , the pilots DONT give you any information.
And In all of this im on the track and theres a train approaching.i try to get the bike off the track and i have no enegy and i cant.
To my luck its a goods train and with 4 engines , and its slow , The Driver stops the train , yells at me. With no choice , Comes out , Helps me lift the bike off the track
Tells me i shouldnt be here in Monsoons and im Mad . I acknowledge that . thank him for stopping and not running over me.

Miss the place where i need to get off the track  , ride few more kms , Then sense im wrong .
Ride backwards , take a wild guess and I cross a Bridge and reach a check post in the forest.
Its Just a small Bunker . Nothing more , Guy has been posted there so that No one can enter .
EVen 4*4 Jeeps dont ply during this season.


In the Forest after the check post


The guy at the check post tells me there are 2 over flowing rivers and I cant go .I aint gonna turn Back .

Next back on track , Some thorny trees on the path and its blocked :-(. Trying to find a way , My shirt gets stuck in it , bruises on my shoulder , Tearing the rain coat that im wearing. Get my Swiss Knife out to Cut the small Parts that are stuck to my shirt and Jacket .

ANd its still raining , In goa it doesnt rain for Hours , It Pours for Days.




I reach the River and Im Dumbstruck at what i see .And i need to cross this .



Iv done quite a bit of riding in my life and I knew this is not to play with .I park the bike , Cam , click. Then Cross the River On foot ,making sure how i cross it with the Bike and finding a Route , Its COld , Deep and Now my Underwear and Shirt is all wet . Im on the Other Side , bike on the Other .

Leave the cam and other stuffs , and come back to Take the Bike back .
I start the Bike and Push and with 8-12 mins of fear filled , struggle for life and I dont know where i got the energy from , Reached the Other side .

I am Still alive .Im happy and Try to calm myself and get some energy back , I still dont know how far the waterfall is and Dont know the Route .
PS: I dont know swimming .

Yes the Bike Was Underwater , With the Carb in the water , Exhaust in the water. I did not expect it to start .
15 mins of kick starting, and losing all energy , I hear the Sweet Honda sound in the Middle of the Forest .
This is how 'Joy feels'.
Riding another Few Kms i see the First View of the Water falls .

Im at the base still ,and the waterfalls is somewhere else. Mixed emotions .
Now i see that Im bleeding from my shoulder , And There are leeches all over my leg , hand . everywhere .
I had salt.. Now its mixed with water and Gone :-(
Out comes my swiss knife and again leech cutting begins.

Back on the saddle i reach The Dudh sagar Parking lot.Deserted. No one in sight. No tracks of vehicles . Just Slush. No count of slides i had .Not falls .. MRF ka slides .

Now i leave the bike here and Start to trek , This involves another river crossing , rain gets heavy and im shivering now.

Treking 2-3 mins into the forest, Its steep and slippery ,any plants u touch have thorns , Im carrying my tank bag and Helmet with me .

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=_fQjw9T9pbU
The video may need a Rotate ,Pls adjust , i tried my best.Listen to the sound of the forest.

15 mins into a walk , I see millipede , centipede and dont no names of insects .. Im wearing leather slippers  , remember.

Next i see a snake and im freaked out. I run back wards , Sliding down. a feeling difficult to describe.

Gather all my composure , take a stick and come back up , and run at the point where i saw the snake.
Finally i see the railway track and some small waterfalls and Tunnels.
Walking another 1 km or so i see the Mighty waterfalls in Full flow.

Video of the Dudh Sagar falls
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=74DzYvRYQBM&feature=youtu.be

I see a bunch of guys who have come in the train , I beg borrow for Towels and Food . U dont have a shop there .
Sit for over an Hour there .Relax
I start back from there to repeat the whole scene and Back to Panjim by 7 pm or so.
Crossing the River again wasnt easy at all .
And the Guys at the Collem station on my return enquired how it was, showed them pictures and they were telling Im Lucky to be back :-)

Im filled with leeches again , I get back to panjim to the hotel and My clothes are soaked in blood. And yikes leeches getting them off.

Back for another day.
Santa

Friday, March 29, 2013

Galaxy Note 2 , My view

 I'm blogging after 11 months and dint know what topic to pick , so i begin with one of the most personal things that you use in daily life , The cell phone , we spend a lot of time in daily life with computers , cell phones , television , cars and the internet.

So these devices were made to help us to do things faster , better.do that actually do that?

Letting that aside .
I present time keeping a cell phone over 1 year is not a viable option , Its my opinion that keep it , use it till the warranty exists , the minute it expires , show it the door , why?
The battery starts to wear out , the processor starts to become Old compared to the new Quad cores on the market.Bigger apps demand better GPU's for the gamer in you .Spares are expensive , and Resale value drop lots on Droids , unlike the iOs phone.

Lets head straight to the point -- Samsung galaxy Note II -N7100

Previous Phone -Samsung Galaxy Note N7000

Bought this phone in a dilemma , why? I liked the Original Galaxy note being wide , i was never a fan of Phones being long , I liked the More Squarish shape of the Note , unlike the sleeker longer Note 2.

But , Things dont happen as i like :-).. Im not talking about the specs of the phone . For that we have a 1001 Sites , please look it up ..

Daily life use -- 10 days i cribbed about the design , 11th day i liked it , why ? its more of a phone and less of a phablet , its easier to hold and make calls like a phone.
Sleeker and better weight distribution .Dont feel like a bulk in the pocket.

The Quad core 1.6 is a decent work house that is well complemented by 2 gb ram , which helps in  you opening a lot of apps and still the phone not showing signs of sweat .

For a common man , It does a more than decent job of managing to stay alive all through the day without charge and still have some juice left for the next day. 
The Screen is a lot more better than the past , the colors are saturated , its either you ll like it or a hate it situation.The Outdoor visibility is good , nothing great or exceptional.
The blues are greens are too hard to digest , but can be mellowed down by the user.

the connectivity options are something nice .

All share , DLNA , NFC , Wi fi direct , group cast , some of these features are really nice if you are a person who loves to explore in your spare time .
Assuming you have a smart tv and a Laptop n multiple devices on the same network , its a Fun and efficient way of sharing or watching stuffs.

S pen is a cool thing and its improved by leaps from the Original one , Its more responsive , easy to use and lot more options n tricks up its sleeve.


I personally hate the Touchwiz UI , I prefer a different launcher. One where my Home screen can auto rotate and all options work in all 4 directions.
I use Holo launcher , It works well for me , less ram usage.quick.
Samsung phones come with Lot of Junk in the System. I prefer a minimalistic approach , keep whats needed and discard what you dont use.

Custom Roms 

To get the Junk off , you need to be Rooted , (Simple terms be an Admin to remove junk)
If you would want to improve your battery life , add some cool features from other phones, etc etc .Custom roms are the way.

Samsung phones are very easy and friendly to customize.
root it , i use alliance Rom .Its one very stable custom rom , Great battery , unlike iv ever seen .
its a TW based rom with a few AOSP mods .
All that you need for a daily life , it has all of it.

Music. Camera, Apps, And Customized fonts ,hacked email app.

A combo of Note 2 and alliance rom has seen me stop flashing roms just to try out .. previously it would be a new rom every day..

the phone by itself is very slippery , prefer using a snap on case Just to keep it safe and  also avoid scratches on the rear panel.

Samsung has a lot of Smart features which i personally find no use for. Smart stay or smart rotation.
It may be cool , to me it consumes a lot of battery . and it reality its never fool proof. I prefer to keep all this off.
The ink effect lock screen is also something which i feel is for the aesthetic liking persons , i really have no time to see whats on my lockscreen , all i need is Time appearing and the rest is always past the lock screen . 

The camera on the Note 2 is very good and can suffice for your daily pictures , the Night shots arent great , lets be practical how many low light shots do you generally click?

The Slow motion  video capture feature is good , the multi window is nice thing to have on a big screen. and the pop up play where the video can play in a re-sizable window when your lets say reading through your emails.

The music quality with Sound Alive is good , the earphones supplied in the box are decent enough , but they hurt my ear , i recommend using your personal earphones to really enjoy the music quality if your an audiophile.
The s voice is also a feature i have uninstalled , its nonsense and draws battery , plus , i prefer Google now for info.Its much faster and better results.

Doesn't come with a flash player , it needs to be side loaded , and its available from the adobe website.

If few of the words sound strange , its on purpose , so that you know what you are doing , else head over to xda developers and u ll be enlightened.

Phone supports Usb otg ,, can connect a pen drive , mouse , keyboard etc etc , all that are stuffs it can do .. but i see no need of it in daily life , except for may be a pen drive.
Supports a 64 gb micro sd card without any problems.

Lets see what different would be there on the next Note , how innovative can the samsung minds get , keeping practicality in mind.

If your buying a phone now , This is a phone which you can get and wont regret .Is not future proof , But Doesnt get drowned by the new phones either.

Santa









 

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Galaxy Note Ownership report

Previously phones were meant to make calls , Not anymore. A phone is more personal and a lot more than just what it could do 5 years back. 2010 and i got into Android phones. HTC Desire , Samsung Galaxy S , Samsung galaxy S2 , and Now the Samsung Galaxy Note. In the last 11 + years , when i started to use cellphones , this is the first time that iv bought phones back to back from the same manufacturer. Let me cut that here and tell you about the Note. What exactly is the Note. Its Big , Bad , Bulky and Mean . USP:Its display 5.3" Super Amoled display .Which is not really uncomfortable holding in Ur hand. Its Not easy to hold it and operate it in a single hand. Easy of use is when u want to type or make calls , U just cannot make mistake , its so damn comfortable with the keys spaced out well. Display makes it so easy for media and photos.Once you start to get used to this display , Using another smaller phone , even the 4.3 inch feels really smaller , By no means the s2 is small or incapable , But The Notes sheer power of processing or display makes it "feel" better. There is a big lag in the scrolling with the Tw Launcher or with any 3rd party launcher. S2 seems way more polished in every aspect in terms of S/w. Another big dislike is that not all apps in the market support the 800*1280 HD resolution. So the apps fit in just half the screen " example:Flipkart". very few apps like this , Not all. The music player Quality on earphones is way better on Note than S2. The speaker Output/volume is low. Poor. battery is 2500 mah n the back up is very good. no custom development has started yet on large scale , so stock rom is very boring. S pen: A show off feature where u can draw. But i really dont use it at all. Overall..Its a very good phone ..too big a phone . too small a tablet.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

My Karizma R

FInally after so many years of waiting to own a Karizma, managed to get one home that i can call mine.

Color-Yellow
Year -2007
Kms Done- 16000
Bike Condition--Stock and Well maintained ..

Changes done to my liking ..
Tires -- Michelin M45 front and rear.
Lights--HID 35W Bi Xenon
Spark plug- NGK Platinum
Suspension--Stiffer springs in the front so that the nose dive stops ..
Thats all for now.
Battery- has a 9A amaron

Covered 2000 kms already in under a month .
The bike is returning a surprising good fuel efficiency of 37-40kmpl.

Likes
Bike is Torquey--Makes it fun to cruise on the highway with minimal gear shifts.
The headlight reflector spread is brilliant , Complemented with a HID , its Good to keep you at 110 kmph at night.
The braking has improved by leaps and bounds with the tyre set-up.The grip is excellent.

Dislikes
Seat is rock hard , hate it to the core.. needs some attention soon.
Vibes creep in after 100kph, On the footpegs and on the handlebar.. Its not there on my R15 even at 130kph.
Chain makes noise--- But i always have my music on , so i never hear it.

The fibre parts are all well intact , no damages , no vibes , well maintained..

Time for some mods after a few thousand kms...

Santa

Friday, February 19, 2010

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Re union coll guys


One year on . Coll guys meeting at the old place. Awesome feelin